Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Cotrol Girl by Shannon Popkin - REVIEWED

About the Book:
Tension, anger, fear, anxiety-it all begins with a heart that craves control.
Little fights with your husband and kids. Unhappiness when things don't match your version of perfect. When your perspective of how life should go replaces God's, you doom your quest for security, peace, and joy before it even starts.

Thankfully, there is a better way.

Join Shannon as she shares what she has discovered about her own control struggles and
about God from studying seven Control Girls in the Bible. Whether it was Eve's desire to know instead of trust, Sarah's inability to wait for God to move, or Rebekah's controlling hand on her family's future, each of these women's stories contain warnings and lessons for us today.

Learn how you too can lay down this burden of trying to control everything and find rest in surrendering to the One who truly is in control.

My Thoughts:
I knew I was in for a wild ride when my oldest son opened the package from the mailbox, and, upon reading the title of Shannon Popkin's book exclaimed, "Well this is certainly a book you need to read!"  Hmmmmm! Subtle message?  My son is a college Senior who knows me well, but I have to say his observation stung quite a bit!

This book has been a difficult read for me.  I've had to lay it down, sometimes with tears and cries of repentance!  So, let me tell you ladies, allow God to work through the pages of this book to challenge and change you.  I've not finished this book yet, because I'm at another hard, challenging chapter.  Part of me (control girl) wants to stop and not go back to finish - to avoid the painfulness of transformation.  But when I submit to God - I have to finish the course he has laid before me, and Shannon Popkin's book is my God appointment right now.

I pray that you are brave enough to pick up this book and thoughtfully go through each chapter and pray prayers of repentance and gratefulness that The Lord loves you enough to bring books like this into your life for such a time as this.

Thank you for your obedience, Shannon.  May God continue to bless you!

About the Author:
Shannon Popkin is a wife and mom, a speaker and teacher, and a leader of small group studies. She's been published by "Family Fun," "MOMsense," "Focus on the Family Magazine," and other outlets. She is a contributing blogger for True and has blogged for several years at "Control Girl" is her first book.
Find out more about Shannon at

Monday, February 13, 2017

Deep Water by Christine Poulson - REVEIWED

About the Book:
An obesity treatment has been discovered, but before anyone can benefit, a dispute breaks out about who owns the discovery. David Marchmont, a patent lawyer, is asked to handle the case. There's one big problem, though: crucial evidence is missing--evidence that might have a bearing on the clinical trial two years before.

David's personal life has its own challenges. His daughter, Chloe, has a rare and serious genetic condition. His wife, Rachel, becomes friendly with a young researcher, Kate Flanagan, who is seeking a cure for Chloe's disorder; Kate, in turn, becomes concerned that her lab colleagues may be cutting corners on the obesity drug.

As evidence of mishandling mounts--then disappears--Kate, Rachel, and David find themselves caught up in acute ethical challenges and personal danger. Is biotechnology outstripping our capacity to make ethical decisions?

My Thoughts:
What was that?”  (p. 113)

This question is asked frequently and on many levels in Christine Poulson’s latest book, Deep Water.  Many characters need to ask this question of themselves and of those around them.  There are relational, professional, emotional and physical reasons to ask this question, and eventually answers begin to surface.  However, some characters don’t survive long enough to get the answers they seek. This is the reality within the world of medical/scientific research that Poulson explores in her novel.

It stands to reason the competitive nature of research done to produce life-changing medications and treatment exists for both philanthropic satisfaction and monetary gain.  I was unaware of many of the parameters that drive this competitiveness - funding sources, time limitations and positions within a research company just to name a few.  Poulson layers this reality within dynamic and realistic relational issues, and creates a cast of characters you will come to care about deeply.  As the story develops, and the lives of the characters become intricately intertwined, it becomes difficult to determine who becomes overwhelmed by greed and desperation enough to do harm to those around them.  This is the ever-present mystery that keeps the reader engaged with the story.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and I highly recommend it to everyone!  The novel is set in the London area, and there is some mild language throughout the storyline.  These were elements I wasn’t expecting, but it is nothing that will distract the reader from the enjoyment of the masterfully told story!

About the Author:
Dr. Christine Poulson has lectured in art history and is familiar with academic life. A member of the Society of Friends, she is the author of several novels and works of nonfiction and is an active blogger. She is a member of the Crime Writers’ Association.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Dog who was There by Ron Marasco - REVIEWED

About the Book:
No one expected Barley to have an encounter with the Messiah.

He was homeless, hungry, and struggling to survive in first century Jerusalem. Most surprisingly, he was a dog. But through Barley's eyes, the story of a teacher from Galilee comes alive in a way we've never experienced before.
Barley's story begins in the home of a compassionate woodcarver and his wife who find Barley as an abandoned, nearly-drowned pup. Tales of a special teacher from Galilee are reaching their tiny village, but when life suddenly changes again for Barley, he carries the lessons of forgiveness and love out of the woodcarver's home and through the dangerous roads of Roman-occupied Judea.
On the outskirts of Jerusalem, Barley meets a homeless man and petty criminal named Samid. Together, Barley and his unlikely new master experience fresh struggles and new revelations. Soon Barley is swept up into the current of history, culminating in an unforgettable encounter with the truest master of all as he bears witness to the greatest story ever told.
Learn more and purchase a copy HERE!
My Thoughts:
We must love, and we must care for those who need us.” (p.253)

This book has been an unexpected treasure!  The Dog Who Was There  chronicles the journey – a very realistic journey of a dog who lived during Jesus’ earthly ministry.  The events that take Barley (the name itself is a treasure!) from one household to another during the course of his lifetime are very realistic and entirely believable!  I think the believability of Barley’s circumstance is what makes the final “revelation” so powerful!

I won’t spoil anything for you, but suffice it to say, Barley was present during significant ministry moments, and I was totally blown away when I realized who he was with at the end of the journey! It sheds an entirely new perspective on the words mercy and grace!!

Ron Marasco understands this in a powerful way!  I believe this book will speak to the hearts of readers in very unexpected ways…whether they are believers or unbelievers.  This book was an unexpected treasure for me, and I am happy to recommend it to everyone!

About the Author:
Ron Marasco is a professor in the College of Communication and Fine Arts at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. His first book, Notes to an Actor, was named by the American Library Association an Outstanding Book of 2008. His second book, About Grief, has been translated into multiple languages, and he is currently completing a book on Shakespeare’s sonnets. He has acted extensively on TV—from Lost to West Wing to Entourage to originating the role of Mr. Casper on Freaks and Geeks—and appeared opposite screen legend Kirk Douglas in the movie Illusion, for which he also wrote the screenplay.  Most recently, he has played the recurring role of Judge Grove on Major Crimes. He has a BA from Fordham at Lincoln Center and an MA and Ph. D. from UCLA.
Find out more about Ron HERE.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Popular apologetics book becomes source for curriculum material in Russian schools

Abbotsford, WI  The updated 4th edition of the ground-breaking book “Surprised by Faith” by Dr. Don Bierle is the basis of material for a curriculum made available in Russia’s public secondary schools. The extra-biblical evidence for the Christian faith can now be taught to thousands of Russian high school students by their own trained teachers. Meanwhile, biblical or Christian teaching in America’s public schools is almost non-existent. Dr. Bierle says that Christianity in America has become a tradition of its truth rather than a demonstration of its truth. The result, he says, is a Christian populace unable to defend their beliefs against a growing array of skeptics.

“Because of the new and aggressive atheists, the prevailing culture of secular humanism and naturalism, the immigration of many who adhere to unfamiliar religions, and an inexplicable bias against Christian faith and practice, now more than ever, Christian believers must defend their faith.” says Bierle, a research scientist and academic dean with over 30 years of teaching experience. “But they no longer know how or have never learned. They find their attempts at communicating their faith to be both ineffective and frustrating. For them and the younger victims of the prevailing secular culture, ‘Surprised by Faith’ has been antidotal. Indeed, the relevance of this third edition for our culture is greater than ever.”

After more than two decades in print and one-third million distribution, “Surprised by Faith” has been translated into 16 world languages. The newly-revised 4th edition, releasing this month from Aneko Press, has some of the most current manuscript numbers of any apologetic resource available. For example, the manuscript numbers for Homer’s Iliad have been updated from 643 to 1,757; and Caesar’s Gallic Wars from 10 to 150. Meanwhile, the New Testament manuscript numbers continue to overwhelm every other ancient writing with 5,795 Greek and 24,406 total manuscripts. Additionally, a new section regarding the principles of faith has been added to chapter four. Dr. Bierle hopes the new information in “Surprised by Faith” will help this generation learn that Christianity is grounded in unmitigated facts.

“The flight from confidence in absolutes and a growing biblical illiteracy has left many floundering for any sense of purpose and meaning in their lives,” says Bierle. “Fear has filled people’s hearts as they contemplate the future. It is my prayer that this 4th edition will similarly be used by God in the years ahead, to be an oasis for an often disillusioned and spiritually thirsty society.”

For more information, visit

About Dr. Don Bierle:
Dr. Don Bierle is President Emeritus of FaithSearch International, and holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in the life sciences, and an M.A. in New Testament studies. As a research scientist, he was a team member on scientific expeditions to both the Arctic and Antarctic polar regions. As an educator and academic dean, Dr. Bierle has been active for 30 years teaching biology, Bible, and worldview subjects in the college classroom. He has conducted training around the world, in places such as the Marshall Islands in the south Pacific, Amsterdam, Nepal, the Philippines, and throughout India. He has published several articles in scientific journals, and is the author of “Surprised by Faith” as well as several other books and DVDs on practical apologetics. He specializes in Evidential Evangelism.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Shannon Popkin's 'Control Girl' Blog Tour and Prize Pack Giveaway

Are you trying to stay in control of your quest for peace, joy, and security . . . and you're exhausted? Shannon Popkin's debut book, Control Girl, is a must-read for anyone with a heart that craves control. Join Shannon as she shares what she has discovered about her own control struggles and about God from studying seven Control Girls in the Bible. Whether it was Eve's desire to know instead of trust, Sarah's inability to wait for God to move, or Rebekah's controlling hand on her family's future, each of these women's stories contain warnings and lessons for us today.

Learn how to give up control to God and become a Jesus girl! Enter to win a prize pack that will help you give up your Control Girl tendencies.

One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on February 21. The winner will be announced February 22 on Shannon's blog.

Pinterest graphic (you can paste this on your HTML page on your blog): Popkin1 Popkin2

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Mark of the King by Jocelyn Greet - REVIEWED

About the Book:
Life in This New World Requires More Strength Than She Ever Imagined
After the death of her client, midwife Julianne Chevalier is imprisoned and branded, marking her as a criminal beyond redemption. Hoping to reunite with her brother, a soldier, she trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling French colony of Louisiana. The price of her transport, however, is a forced marriage to a fellow convict.

New Orleans is nothing like Julianne expects. The settlement is steeped in mud and mosquitoes, and there is no news of her brother, Benjamin. When tragedy strikes, she turns to military officer Marc-Paul Girard for help, but does he know more about her brother than he will admit?

With her dreams shattered, Julianne must find her way in this dangerous land, where only grace--and love--can overcome the stigma of the king's mark upon her shoulder.
My Thoughts:
You wear my name!”  (p. 323)

This quote is the essence of the discovery all of the main characters in Jocelyn Green’s latest book, The Mark of the King, make in their arduous journey in the Louisiana colony in the 1700’s.

For didn’t she know what it was to be buffeted, broken, and in pieces, and unrecognizable version of one’s former self?” (p. 392)

This quote give you a glimpse into the depth of personal challenges and change each character experiences in their journey of discovery.  Green has written an AMAZING story about a little know era of American history, and if you are like me, you are quickly swept up into this, sometimes agonizing, journey of the people who settled the Louisiana territory.  EVERY character has something significant to contribute to the story!  I was amazed, repeatedly, at how intricately every detail fed into another significant story line.  This is a multi-layered story, and by the end of the novel, you are left stunned by the completeness of the journey you take with this amazing set of characters.

Green also weaves a redemptive thread of God’s grace throughout the novel that creates a very impactful sense of God’s purpose in the lives of His children.  Nothing is wasted in His economy – NOTHING!!  So, I must strongly encourage you to PLEASE READ THIS NOVEL!! You will learn so much about American’s beginnings, and the characters will reveal a realistic picture of grace and mercy at the most gut-wrenching level of your heart!!  This is an AMAZING book!! Read it!!

Jocelyn Green inspires faith and courage as the award-winning author of ten books to date, including Wedded to War, a Christy Award finalist in 2013; Widow of GettysburgYankee in Atlanta; and The 5 Love Languages Military Edition, which she coauthored with bestselling author Dr. Gary Chapman. A former military wife herself, her passion for military families informs all of her writing as well as her numerous speaking opportunities. Jocelyn graduated from Taylor University with a BA in English and now lives with her husband and two children in Iowa. Visit her at

Monday, January 23, 2017

A Spectacle of Glory by Joni Eareckson Tada - REVIEWED

About the Book:
Every Christian wonders, Exactly why did God create me?  Well, God created you for one purpose, and that is to showcase His glory – He wants you to enjoy it, display it, and demonstrate it every day to all those you encounter.  Nearly 50 years of living as a quadriplegic and dealing with chronic pain on a daily basis has taught me how to make Jesus look good in the toughest of situations.  And I love passing those lessons on in my new devotional, A Spectacle of Glory.  I wrote it to help you learn how to put God's glory on display – how to say ‘no’ to a cranky, crabby spirit and say ‘yes’ to the daily adventure of following God down the difficult path.  Yep, I should know:  wheelchairs and cancer and pain can’t stop you from living life to the fullest.  So whatever challenges you are facing, I invite you to journey alongside me as every day we spend time together in A Spectacle of Glory.  And one more thing.  Don’t ever think your life is too ordinary, your world too small, or your work too insignificant: all of it is a stage set for you to glorify God!

My Thoughts:
Few people have the insight - the perspective - that God has gifted to Joni Eareckson Tada.  I am well aware that her physical limitations don't define her, but I can't pretend that I don't think about them when I read her words.  The fact that she has such an intimate relationship with God - something I am still growing towards in my own life - is clearly evident in every word!  The devotions are meant for daily consideration, and I must say that she packs a spiritual wallop in every page.  I am particularly moved by the prayers she pens!  

This devotional is power packed, and believers of all ages and stages will benefit from this devotional.  I'm sorry to be late in posting the review - but is is NOT too late to begin your journey through 2017 with Joni!!  This is a book that can be used year after year, so pick up a copy today!

About the Author:
Joni Eareckson Tada is the founder of Joni and Friends, an organization accelerating Christian outreach in the disability community that numbers 610 million people worldwide. This organization operates out of the new Joni and Friends International Disability Center located in Agoura Hills, California. Joni is not only an international disability advocate but an artist and the author of numerous bestselling books, including Pearls of Great Price, Diamonds in the Dust, More Precious Than Silver, the Platinum award-winning Joni, Heaven: Your Real Home, When God Weeps, and The God I Love.